Filippo (Phillip) Pugliese was born on Feb 6, 1880 to parents Fedele Pugliese and Rosa Spinella in Cellara, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy. He arrived in Canada in 1891. His wife, Theresa Porco was born in Figline, Florence, Tuscany, Italy on February 24, 1883 to parents Michele Porco and Maria Manzo. She arrived in 1911 with their oldest daughter Stella, who was born in Rexford, Montana in 1910.
Phillip and Theresa gave birth to seven more children while living in the Michel-Natal / Fernie area: Palmina Emma in 1912, Giovannina (Jennie) in 1913, Agostino J (Gus) in 1915, Paul Fedele in 1915, Lillian A (Lilly) in 1918, Elizabeth (Liz) in 1918 and Joseph in 1923. Phillip worked as a pump-man at the Elk River Colliery #9 Mine in Fernie. He died in Michel in 1936. Theresa moved to Kelowna with son, Paul, where she passed away in 1950. Phillip and Theresa are both buried at the Elk Valley Cemetery in Sparwood.
Stella was married in 1929 to John Martino. John was killed in a mining accident at a young age. Stella raised her two boys and moved to Kelowna for a short time before settling in Spokane.
Palmina Emma and Joseph Nino Ungaro were married in Fernie in 1930. They moved to Spokane in 1956 where Emma enjoyed jobs at Newberry’s and the Bend Restaurant.
Also in 1930, in Michel, Jennie married Albert Porco. Albert began working in the mine and later with his brother, Ralph, operated a hunting and guiding operation in the Kootenays. They moved to Kelowna in the 50s where Albert took a job with the school district..
Gus worked as a coal miner in Fernie for 23 years. He was married to Norma Agnes Schiffo from Powell River. After retirement they moved to Portland where they operated a pig farm. In 1984 they retired to Spokane, Washington.
Paul married Angela (Angie) Faustina Romeo in Natal, on February 19, 1938. Angie was born in Blairmore, Alberta and living in Calgary at the time. Paul worked at the mine before moving to Kelowna in 1946. Here he worked as a box maker and a ferry worker before starting up Pug’s Taxi service in 1957. Paul passed away in 1989 and Angie in 2006. They are both at rest in the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.
Lilly married Michele (Michael) Anselmo. Michael died of heart related problems at age 46. Lilly moved on to Spokane, Washington, where she worked at the Newberry’s, a five and dime store, as head cashier.
Liz married Rosario (Ray) Cozzetto. After their move to Kelowna, Liz worked at the coffee counter at Porco’s Pool Hall. She was very active in the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club serving as their president in 1989-90.
Joseph married Edna Moshuk. Joseph first worked as a miner and then became a steam engineer at the mine’s power plant in Michel. He moved to Kelowna in 1957, using his steam ticket to operate the plant at Kelowna Secondary School.